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IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Commitment to Open Badges for Education

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Recently there were two very important blog posts discussing the evolution in the development of Mozilla Open Badges. 

First, Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation provided a great update on Mozilla’s continued commitment to Open Badges.   In Mark’s piece he outlines the history of the Open Badges work, the transition of badge development to a reinvigorated Badge Alliance, and what Mark sees ahead for Mozilla’s ongoing involvement, including this:

"Open Badges has continued to evolve. In mid-2015, the Badge Alliance spun out and became a part of Collective Shift, a nonprofit devoted to redesigning social systems for a connected world. The Badge Alliance will work in concert with another Collective Shift project, LRNG, which is creating a global ecosystem of in-school, out-of-school, employer-based and online learning that includes a technology platform for badges. With continuing support for the Badge Alliance and LRNG’s push to make badges part of connected learning experiences for youth, the Open Badges community remains active and growing. Nate Otto, Director of the Badge Alliance, leads standard development efforts, while a growing band of implementers cooperate to improve the options for using Open Badges to recognize learning across many environments."

The second important blog post is from Nate Otto, the director of the above-mentioned Badge Alliance.  In Nate’s post he stresses the importance of community collaboration to guide the work and create a shared investment in Open Badges. Our thanks go out to Collective Shift for making the investment to reinvigorate the Badge Alliance, including building out a Badge Alliance team with Nate’s leadership!

At IMS Global we have committed to a substantial investment on behalf of our members in Open Badges.  We believe that an evolution of the Open Badges specification can serve as a key component in creating a better future for educational credentials in higher, K-12 and lifelong education.  And getting to a better future for educational credentials is a challenge that IMS has taken on as one of our five major initiatives.  Putting it bluntly, current educational credentials (grades and test scores) are woefully inadequate as we move to the future.

IMS has begun working on a number of areas involving the application of Open Badges. We are working closely with the Badge Alliance, Collective Shift and Mozilla Foundation, and of course with our 350 member organizations.  Our focus is to ensure that Badges will provide a clear value across a full range of educational accomplishments and that they can be compiled into official e-transcripts and a highly effective and comprehensive student record.  Investment on improved conformance certification will be a major track of the IMS work.

Thus, IMS Global has made a major commitment to Open Badges.  And, via the collaboration with the Badge Alliance we are committed to bringing that work back to the broader Open Badges community as it proves its merits.